Not having much luck getting bloggers to talk about your products? Maybe you need a different approach. You see, working with bloggers is like working with print journalists. But it isn’t. You may not see the difference between an online magazine and a print magazine, but the business models are very different. Getting your product into a print magazine is often a matter of knowing who to talk to. Getting your product onto a popular blog is often a matter of incentive. Here’s why.

Print magazines

What’s in it for a print magazine?

A company owns the magazine. It has to. The entry barriers are too high – top-end computing equipment is needed, as are printing presses, and distribution resources.

The magazine makes its money through selling the magazine itself (though the margins are tight and everyone including the distributor and the retailer want their cuts), and through selling advertising space to companies. The higher the circulation and the more affluent the readership, the more the magazine can charge for advertising. It’s in the interests of the magazine to increase circulation, preferably in a desirable economic group.

To sell magazines, they need to produce quality content. To do this they employ journalists and feature writers, who will be on salary and expenses. It does not matter what the journalist is interested in, just that the content fits with the magazine. It is the job of the journalist to produce quality content that people want to read. They still get paid whether it’s something that they enjoy doing or not.

Blogger outreach services

What’s in it for a blogger?

Anyone can start a blog. There is free blogging software you can use. A self-hosted blog costs less than £100 a year to host. Entry barriers are low. Many blogs are owned and run by a single person who does everything from writing the content, to sorting their own SEO, and their own marketing.

Readerships can be highly engaged but with varying circulations. Even if the blog has only one reader that day, the blog is still viable because of the low entry barriers. Some blogs go weeks without any fresh content. This is because…..

……blog owners are essentially unpaid. While it’s in their interest to produce quality content in order to increase readership and sell advertising space, the advertising does not bring money in like a print magazine can. Paid features are common on a blog, but their frequency can be irregular. Bloggers don’t have the benefit of a regular income like a salaried print journalist.

Bloggers get value from the work that they do by – selling advertising space (not a lot of money to be fair), sponsored content (erratic), and through products received in exchange for publicity and editorial.

Here’s how it affects you

If you’ve got a product that you want to promote on a blog, then you need to make sure that the blogger wants it and is happy to exchange work (creating a good editorial and promoting it to their audience) for that product. When a blogger is busy, they are unlikely to prioritise working for a low-value product or one that they don’t really need or want over other paid work that they have, or over valuable leisure time. A journalist won’t care too much if you send them something they really don’t need as they can use it to create a feature relevant to their magazine’s audience in their paid working time.

Have you considered paying a blogger for their time? For lower-value products, the time it would take the blogger to create the content isn’t worth it to them. Sponsored posts are very common. A journalist wouldn’t charge you for the content they create as they are already being compensated by their employer, but a blogger has to as this is how they make the lion’s share of their revenue.

Why should you care?

If you don’t want to work with bloggers and are happy with print magazines, then don’t worry about it. Blogs are a very different beast to print magazines – the circulation may be lower but actually some blogs have HUGE readership bases. The benefit of blogs is the longevity. While a newspaper or magazine can be ‘tomorrow’s chip paper’, blogs are there for all to search and read for the forseeable future. A link on a good blog helps with your company website’s SEO too. A print magazine can’t do that.

For good PR you need coverage in both print magazines and online magazines, you just have to remember that while they may look the same and create similar content, the business models are very different.

So remember, when you’re pitching to any publication to get the coverage that you need for your product or service, think about how you’re incentivising the writer to talk about it.

Free hi-res images, infographics, and ‘high quality’ content may make a journalist’s job easier but they’re not really going to motivate a blogger to spend their valuable time falling over themselves to write about you. A ‘free’ product isn’t much good either unless the blogger actually wants or needs it. A beauty blogger doesn’t really want or need your new range of baby toys. Even a parent blogger might not want it depending on the age of their children.

When pitching to a blogger, make sure that you’re not going to get your pitch deleted from their inbox. If you can’t satisfactorily answer their “What’s in it for me?” question, then you might need a different approach.

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Social Bods provide blogger outreach services. Please get in touch for more information.

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